Acceleration- rate of change of velocity per unit of time.



Alright, before everyone starts saying, “ Hey Mike, that`s not really a Nerd Word everyone knows the definition of acceleration,” Let me explain, even though this is a well known word, I think that it is a bit misunderstood. The most common misunderstanding is that acceleration means both speeding up and slowing down. How can this be? Well, as the abstract and some what confusing definition states, “ rate of change of velocity,” that means anytime the velocity* or speed changes acceleration occurs. Often times, slowing down is referred to as negative acceleration. Acceleration is one of the most commonly observed physical phenomena, the most common being gravity. Gravity by definition pulls things downward or toward the center of the earth. Moreover, when it is pulling something downward it is accelerating them at a rate of 32.2 ft/s2.   This is referred to as the acceleration due to gravity and it has many applications including making snowboarding possible.


Lets take the typical downhill run and break it down. First, the rider starts to roll down the hill, as the rider gets further down the hill they begin pick up speed, they are accelerating. Then the course begins to flatten out and they are no longer accelerating because they are traveling at a constant speed. Finally, they hit a jump a begin to travel up hill; they begin to accelerate again, but because they are traveling uphill they are slowing down. Even though they are slowing down they are still accelerating because the speed at which they are traveling is changing. Then they fly into air while performing some mind- boggling trick, and then land. All the while utilizing acceleration in both directions.



Just like the massive amount of snow, we`ll keep ‘making science cool’

* velocity sounds cooler than speed